previews

Chicago

“William Pope.L: Forlesen”

The Renaissance Society
5811 South Ellis Avenue Cobb Hall, 4th floor
April 28–June 23

Curated by Susanne Ghez

William Pope.L’s first solo exhibition in Chicago since moving to the city takes its title from science fiction writer Gene Wolfe’s 1974 short story “Forlesen.” Much like Wolfe’s allegorical, nested narrative in which a lifetime of negotiating a corporate bureaucracy occurs in a single day, Pope.L constructs his own labyrinthine exhibition space within the gallery: Drawings hang on successively larger walls, which together form a spaceship-like or phallic shape. Inside the shaft’s head, stacked monitors play cropped and abstracted porn from the 1980s and ’90s, and next to the installation stands Du Bois Machine, 2013, a statue of the father of twentieth-century African American intellectual thought from the waist down that plays a sound track of Pope.L’s own biography narrated by a teenage girl. Enveloping the viewer in an apparatus of masculinist sexuality, cleaved and hewn, this show will surely be the artist’s most manifestly libidinous presentation to date.